By Judy Thorburn
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Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - Las Vegas Round The Clock
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Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center For Brain Health Opens Gehry Life Activity Center

Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health celebrated a dream 14 years in the making with the Friday, May 21 opening of the Life Activity Center designed by famed architect Frank Gehry, which will host medical education and other events.

The opening of the Life Activity Center marks the completion of the $80 million Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, a highly specialized clinical center designed to advance the research, early detection and treatment of neurological diseases including Alzheimer's, Huntington's Parkinson and ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Photo credit: Judy Thorburn

On hand during the morning ceremonies were Dr. Toby Cosgrove, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cleveland Clinic, Larry Ruvo, Keep Memory Alive Chairman & Founder, who named the center for his late father who had Alzheimer's disease, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and Dr. Jeff Cummings, who will be taking over as head of the clinic. Cummings is the director of the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research at UCLA and is known across the country for his research of brain disorders related to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

Also in attendance as a special guest speaker was Pat Strong, whose husband of 55 years, Jerry, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, a disease that causes progressive degeneration of brain cells, memory loss and behavioral changes. She spoke about their struggle with the disease, its devastating effects, and how thankful she is to the Cleveland Clinic for the treatment her husband has received. “Jerry has been coming to the clinic for four months now. The staff always greats us with genuine smiles and I am grateful for this welcoming, comfortable place with wonderful people,” she said.

Pat Strong
Photo credit: Judy Thorburn

Dr. Toby Cosgrove, Larry Ruvo,Dr. Jeff Cummings and Mayor Oscar Goodman
Photo credit: Judy Thorburn

Photo credit: Judy Thorburn

Mayor Goodman stated that he asked his longtime friend, businessman and philanthropist, Larry Ruvo to bring his facility to the 61 acres known as Symphony Park in the downtown area that the city council had acquired. “I had decided these acres would be special, all that the future would be thought of, with its performing arts center and academic center. I stood by that vision and now the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health takes Las Vegas to a whole new level of credibility”. The Mayor then offered up a Proclamation, declaring May 21 Brain Health Day.

The landmark occasion culminated outdoors with the release of 1,000 biodegradable balloons each filled with a note from a patient, in a tribute to the cherished memories of its patients, caregivers, staff and supporters. There was also a champagne toast with Dr. Jeff Cummings, Larry Ruvo, Dr. Michael Modic, Chairman of the Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute, and Mayor Goodman.

Photo credit: Judy Thorburn

The Life Activity Center which is part of the CLEVELAND CLINIC LOU RUVO CENTER FOR BRAIN HEALTH is located at the corner of Grand Central Parkway and Bonneville in downtown Las Vegas.

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